From Villanova To ‘Shark Tank,’ This Foul-Mouthed Tea Vendor Is Kicking It

By Diane Mastrull

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Jenni-Lyn Williams’ “Snarky Teas” are certainly not intended for snobs. Or the easily offended.

Ah, tea. That soothing, aromatic beverage favored by English royalty and commoners alike. Sometimes sipped from delicate cups of fine china by lunching women wearing big fancy hats; other times, from the plainest vessels by those in pajamas trying to kick a cold or flu.

And then there’s Philly’s own Jenni-Lyn Williams and her take on the drink.

Let’s just say it’s too bad Downton Abbey has wrapped. How hilarious would it have been to watch the aristocratic Crawleys bleeped as they called down to the kitchen for a pot of “Get Your S– Together” or “Calm the F– Down?”

Williams’ Snarky Teas certainly are not intended for snobs. Or the easily offended.

“What says approachability more than slapping a curse word on the label?” the 30-year-old mother of an infant and a 2-year-old said of her marketing strategy, inspired by her roots in the Northeast’s Parkwood section. “Putting the curse words on the label really spoke to Philadelphia.”

And, evidently, to two celebrity investors. In an appearance on ABC’s hit start-up-pitch show Shark Tank, taped in June and aired on Nov. 5, Williams, then nearly eight months pregnant, snagged a joint investment of $150,000 for a 50 percent stake in Snarky Tea. Her fans: regular Shark Kevin O’Leary, aka “Mr. Wonderful,” who made millions in computer software; and guest Shark Bethenny Frankel, of Real Housewives fame, who went on to found the mega-popular Skinnygirl line of cocktails and snacks.

“It’s indescribable,” Williams said the day after her seven-minute segment aired and her deal was finally public.
“I’ve been doing a lot of crying. I have so much to be thankful for.”

It was a tamer version of the woman who exuded confidence and negotiating savvy on the Shark Tank soundstage in Southern California.

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